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Work Samples

The Ball Story

Clear gazing ball in flower garden
This is the 12" glass sphere that I use in my work. In 2005 I purchased a clear glass gazing ball as a gift for my husband. We installed it in the back corner of our yard. I was fascinated by the way the sphere reflected the environment, both distorting the landscape and splitting the light spectrum. I have been photographing with this ball ever since.

Nature Portraits Book

Cover of Nature Portraits book
I was invited to do an exhibition of my work at Chadron State College in Nebraska . I created a soft cover book of images to accompany the show. A friend had recently created a book of her images on Blurb. So, I decided to try my hand at it. The book is now available at Fleckenstein and Y: Art Galleries in Baltimore.


About Cathy

Baltimore County

Cathy Leaycraft has been photographing for over 35 years. In 1976 she moved to the Baltimore area, where she resides today. She started her study of photography at the University of Delaware and continued at the Maryland Institute College of Art.   Today she uses reflected and refracted light to create a unique viewpoint before she even snaps the shutter. Her companion on this journey has been a glass sphere.   Ms. Leaycraft’s work is held in many public and private collections including... more

Reflected Landscape

When doing a photo shoot, I choose a location that I think will produce intriguing imagery. It could be a garden, a beach, or a friends yard. Once I am there, I set up my “glass studio” on the ground and begin exploring potential images. I move my body and camera around while looking through the viewfinder. In this work, I have shunned computer manipulation in favor of manipulating light and reflection, before it reaches my camera.
I strive for a dreamlike quality, and a sense of timelessness.

  • Side Yard

    yellow house and lawn chair
    This image was taken in the yard of the house my husband and I were renting on Monhegan Island, Maine.
  • Trees Knees

    tree roots and vines
    This image was taken at Adkins Arboretum in Maryland. I was on the ground in a somewhat swampy area that bordered a pond. The dark brown bulges are tree roots.
  • Yellow Dawn

    abstract view of trees, sky, and back of chair
    This image was taken early in the morning in my backyard. My glass sphere was on a pillow that had been in the seat of an Adirondack chair. The chair is also in the image.
  • Copper Globe

    distorted boats and rigging
    This image was taken on the boat dock in Provincetown, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. I was able to get to the area where the boats were tided up because it was December and off season.
  • Tears at Dawn

    tree limbs, yellow sky, drops of water
    This image was taken in my backyaed. The "tears" were created by condensation on the glass.
  • Mouth to Mouth

    yellow and red outdoor shower buildings
    This image was taken in the fenced in deck surrounding a friends cottage in Provincetown, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The "mouths" are really one life preserver reflected twice in my sphere.
  • Vortex

    twigs and sky
    This image was taken on the dunes along the Ceader Woods Trail in Provincetown, Massachusetts. I particularly like the way the stick figure appears to be drawn by some spiritual force toward the womb like vortex.
  • Lobster's View

    blue water-sky surrounded by rocks and a small looking red house
    This image was taken at the water's edge amoung the rocks on the shoreline at Fish Beach on Mongegan Island, Maine. The ball was in a puddle of water amoung the rocks. I am visable along the rocks on the right.
  • Eye Lash

    tree branches, yellow sky, and redish spike like lines
    This image was taken at Cylburn Arboretum in Baltimore. The "lashes" across the "eye" shape were created by the pattern in a cut glass bowl placed under my glass sphere.
  • Enter the Wreck

    Distorted image of ship wreck
    This image was taken inside a boat wreck at Lobster Cove on Monhegan Island. I crawled inside with my camera and sphere.

Nature Portraits

These images were created by inserting objects, that I found in the area, into my glass sphere. I consider these photographs to be portraits. Each subject finds itself surrounded by layers of imagery (distorted landscape beyond and beneath the glass).
My blown glass sphere has a one inch opening, so any object I photograph must fit through the opening and come back out. The coming back out part can be a challenge.

  • Red Leaf

    red leaf with stairway background
    This image was taken at the bottom of a wooden fire escape behind the apartment where my husband and I were staying on Monhegan Island. I found the leaf on the ground nearby.
  • Turkey Tail

    a line of mushrooms in the woods
    This image wae taken at Adkins Arboretum, Ridgely, Maryland. It features a line of Turkey Tail mushrooms growing on a dead branch.
  • Stone Trio

    three stones on a dark field with blue sky
    This image was taken during one of our visits to Provincetown. These stones were collected by my husband while we were walking along the beach. I barrowed them briefly for this photo shoot.
  • Purple Vetch

    the flower of a Purple Vetch vine
    This vine is prolific on Monhegan Island. It was unfamillar to me, so, I looked it up in a wildflower book when I got home.
  • Feather

    Feather in field of blue
    This was my first feather image. I found this slightly weathered feather in my yard near the bird feeder.
  • Finally Spring

    a cluster of white flowers with dryed leaves and sky
    During an early spring visit to the Rehoboth Art League in Delaware, I walked around the neighborhood capturing sighns of spring.
  • Hosta Bud

    Hosta bud in swirls of sky
    Some plants on Monhegan Island have developed distinctive characteristics due to the 10 mile distance from the main land. This hosta bud was unusually large.
  • Andrea's Feather

    feather slashing diaginally through sky and into trees
    This image was taken in my friend Andrea's yard. She offered me a couple of feathers from her collection. The edge of her balcony-deck is visable in the lower left corner.
  • Red Thistle

    red flower on stem with greenery
    We recently moved and a friend brought us a bouquet of flowers. This thistle was in the arrangement.
  • Monhegan Gold

    Goldenrod in fields of color
    On Monhegan there is a ritual. As a tourist boat pulls out of the Harbor, brave soals throw flowers and jump into the water. This island Goldenrod is often amoung the flowers picked for this occation.

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